Level Playground: Gearing Up on Land Clearing Implements

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Before an oil and gas pipeline can be installed, the right of way must first get a complete facelift in preparation for the job. Mulchers, grinders and other equipment take on the rugged task of clearing the land.

North American Oil & Gas Pipelines reached out to some of the top manufacturers of land clearing implements for the pipeline industry. Here is a selection of the tools contractors use to remove foliage and level the jobsite so that new infrastructure can be installed to deliver needed energy resources throughout North America.

FAE PRIMETECH PT300

FAE PRIMETECH PT300

FAE PrimeTech PT-300 Industrial Track Mulcher

Located in Flowery Branch, Georgia, FAE is known for manufacturing a variety of PTO- and hydraulic-driven cutter heads for the land clearing sector, as well as a full line of PrimeTech PT-series tracked carriers, such as the PT-300.

The PT-300 delivers is designed to deliver higher power to the mulcher head compared to other same category products on the market. From day one, the PrimeTech was built to operate in the most demanding right of way land clearing and site prep conditions. With a highly maneuverable carrier, this FAE mulcher is built to withstand extreme stress and tough terrain.

The PT-300 is among the top mulchers for large commercial applications. It also provides the best-in-class fuel efficiency, increased work productivity and among the lowest total cost of operation than any other equivalent product on the market. The PT-300 can be equipped with different head options, including a mulcher, stump cutter, subsoiler, rock crusher and asphalt grinder.

The PT-300 is equipped with a 6.8-liter John Deere six-cylinder inline engine, which delivers 275 hp; a Berco D4 oscillating undercarriage, with 32/in. low ground pressure shoe; Sauer Danfoss hydraulic system, with a robust cooling system; a rearview camera for added safety and visibility; and a best-in-class comfortable cab with maximized visibility.

Jarraff GEO-BOY

Jarraff GEO-BOY

Multiple Cutter Head Options for the Jarraff Geo-Boy Brush Cutter Tractor

The Geo-Boy Brush Cutter Tractor from Jarraff Industries is available with various cutter head options to meet specific application needs. The Geo-Boy can be outfitted with cutter heads from multiple manufacturers.

Jarraff Industries president and CEO Heidi Boyum said the objective is versatility and productivity.

“We really want to give end users the ability to best match their Geo-Boy to their particular applications,” Boyum said. “Conditions can vary greatly from pipeline right-of-way management, for example, to seismic mapping or general land clearing for construction applications. This way customers can select the cutter head option that best suits their needs and gives them the level of productivity that they want.”

In addition to multiple cutter head options, the Geo-Boy is available in both wheeled and track configurations. Both models are ROPS and FOPS certified. The Geo-Boy also offers a number of safety features including full Lexan, No Mar windows and a rearview camera. The Geo-Boy has the ability to lift the cutter head approximately 11 ft high and can quickly and effectively clear brush and trees up to 12 in. in diameter. With two Tier III engine options, 220 and 260 hp, the Geo-Boy is more powerful, maneuverable and fuel efficient than other brush cutters in its class.

John Deere Root Rake

John Deere Root Rake

John Deere Root Rakes

The toughest land-clearing and ground-leveling jobs are no match for the new John Deere Root Rakes (RR72, RR78 and RR84), the latest additions to the ever-expanding lineup of Worksite Pro attachments. Optimized to work with John Deere G- and E-Series skid steers and compact track loaders (CTLs), and K-Series compact wheel loaders, these attachments get the job done quickly and can be a more economical option over dozer blades.

The root rakes are ideal for land clearing, ground leveling and moving materials away from buildings and obstructions. These attachments were designed to easily gather rocks and debris, while allowing soil to sift through, for minimal site and landscape disturbance and maximum efficiency. Built with alloy-steel construction, replaceable pin-on teeth and zinc-plated, pivot pins with protected Zerks, these attachments can ruggedly resist impact that any ground materials provide. Another key feature is a weld-on “D” ring that expands the list of job site tasks these root rakes can tackle, such as pulling brush in forestry applications or scrap on a job site.

“The root rakes are exceptional additions to our line of Worksite Pro attachments that increase the productivity of any compact machine being used in job site prep applications,” said Gregg Zupancic, product marketing manager, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “We designed this line of root rakes to be a tough solution, ready to take on any terrain in its path.”

The root rakes are available in 72-in. (RR72), 78-in. (RR78) and 84-in. (RR84) width for maximum productivity. The height and width of the root rakes also help shield the fronts of the machines, protecting against damage from large piles of brush or jagged scrap.

With the universal, self-cleaning Quik-Tatch easy attachment system found on all John Deere skid steers, CTLs and compact wheel loaders, the machine can easily add and remove the root rake in no time. The new attachment is also backed by John Deere parts, service and warranty coverage.

Like all Worksite Pro attachments, the root rake is also compatible with many competitive models.

Loftness Carbide Cutter G4

Loftness Carbide Cutter G4

Loftness Carbide Cutter G4 High Performance Mulching Head Attachment

Building on the success of the previous G3 model, the Carbide Cutter G4 is Loftness Specialized Equipment’s newest generation high-performance mulching head attachment for skid steers. Incorporating an adjustable shear bar to customize material sizing and a 37 percent larger displacement drive motor with more torque, it is packed with features that increase efficiency while maintaining rugged reliability.

The Carbide Cutter G4 is available with 61- and 71-in. cutting widths. All models are offered with either carbide-tipped teeth or and heat-treated steel planer blade Loftness Quadco teeth to match any job applications. The precisely engineered tooth pattern has an improved staggered spiral configuration that offers better power distribution and balance, as well as single-tooth contact with the work surface at all times.

For maximum cutting performance, the Carbide Cutter G4 features a two-stage cutting chamber with two shear bars. This combination of features results in small particle sizes while eliminating the jamming and wrapping issues associated with competitive products. A new adjustable primary-stage shear bar can be widened or narrowed to fine-tune material size and production rate. And the inside of the cutting chamber is smooth and open, which reduces clogging from mud or buildup of material. Improved skid shoes can be adjusted from 0.5 to minus-1.5 in., which allows mulching below grade.

Operating at 2,000 to 2,400 rpm, the mulching head features a synchronous drive belt for greater efficiency and less maintenance. The G4 comes standard with a V-Drive system that includes a variable-displacement motor (V-Drive), which improves torque and offers less stalling and shorter recovery. The V-Drive also has load-sensing technology. Under light loads, it operates at maximum rpm, and as the load increases, it automatically lowers the rotor rpm to maximize torque.

Full rotation of the mulching head is achieved thanks to specially designed hose routing that has been improved to allow more motion without damage. This feature also allows the unit to easily position trees with the adjustable push bar and welded claw hooks. The push bar can be used to push falling brush and trees away from the power unit, and the claw hooks can pull material into position for proper feeding.

The Carbide Cutter G4 is designed for maximum durability. Abrasion-resistant steel is used in areas exposed to high wear, and it comes equipped with a custom hydraulic control valve that protects the unit from pressure spikes. It also stops the rotor quickly on shutdown without damaging components. Other standard features include an on-board pressure gauge and steel deflector chains.

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